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With Marylanders already casting ballots at early voting centers and voting by mail ahead of the July 19 primary, a leading environmental organization has just issued its annual scorecard for the 188 members of the General Assembly.
The Maryland League of Conservation Voters scorecard, released early this year to maximize its impact before the primary, gave lawmakers high marks generally, largely for finally passing the Climate Solutions Now Act, far-reaching legislation that seeks to address the devastation wrought by a warming planet. In recent years, the LCV has been sharply critical of the General Assembly and Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) for their inability to move large-scale climate measures.
“In addition to the country’s most significant climate legislation, the General Assembly passed a number of other bills that promise a cleaner, more equitable future for Maryland,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “A new solar energy tax credit, for example, will make these projects more accessible to low- and middle-income households, and an electric school bus pilot program will protect school children and our communities from polluting diesel buses by bringing electric buses to more school districts.”
Based on developments in the 2022 legislative session, the league’s report gave the General Assembly an A grade for climate and energy policy; A- for land and water conservation; B+ for transportation; and B for environmental justice.
When it came to grading individual lawmakers, LCV used 10 votes in the state Senate this year and 10 votes in the House of Delegates.
All 32 Democratic state senators were given perfect scores for their votes. In the House, all Democrats but two rang up perfect scores. Del. Brian Crosby (D-St. Mary’s) got a 90% score and Del. Frank Conaway (D-Baltimore City) got an “NA,” because he was excused for all 10 of the floor votes that LCV scored.
Republicans also did pretty well in the scorecard — though some did not. In the upper chamber, Sen. Chris West (R-Baltimore County) was the top scorer, as he often is in the league’s ratings, with an 80% grade. Sens. Jack Bailey (R-St. Mary’s), Jason Gallion (R-Harford) and Bryan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel), the Senate GOP leader, got 60% scores. Five other Republican senators voted with league’s priorities 50% of the time, four got 40% scores, and Sen. Stephen Hershey (R-Upper Shore) brought up the rear with a 33% score.
There was an even greater divergence among House Republicans. Del. Brenda Thiam (R-Washington) led the way with a 75% score, followed by Del. Carl Anderton (R-Lower Shore) at 70%. But Del. Rick Impallaria (R-Harford) scored zero.
In a related development, the league released a new round of endorsements in legislative races this week. For state Senate in District 3, the league endorsed Del. Karen Lewis Young (D-Frederick). And for Senate in Anne Arundel County’s District 33, the group is backing attorney Dawn Giles (D).
LCV also announced endorsements in 10 House races this week, including Del. Heather Bagnall (D-Anne Arundel) for re-election. The other endorsements:
- District 5: Dennis Frazier (R)
- District 9A: Steve Bolen (D)
- District 12: Jeff Garcia (D)
- District 18: Aaron Kaufman (D)
- District 23: Adrian Boafo (D)
- District 24: Christopher Stevenson (D)
- District 26: Jamila Woods (D)
- District 33: Andrew Pruski (D)
- District 39: Clint Sobratti (D)
Frazier is a Carroll County commissioner. Boafo is a member of the Bowie City Council. Pruski is an Anne Arundel County councilmember.
The group has previously endorsed dozens of other candidates, including author and former nonprofit executive Wes Moore (D) for governor, retired Judge Katie Curran O’Malley (D) for attorney general, and Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore City) for comptroller.